I do not know where this occurred, but hopefully the police will see this and arrest those involved. They basically molested these females for no reason!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott wants to ban known sex offenders and predators from around beaches and parks.
- This sheriff was also under investigation (see here), while pulling for John McCain, and also busted out Barack Obama's middle name (see here). Sounds like another politician in the making, exploiting anything he can, IMO.
He also targets the areas of libraries, zoos and carnivals, among others.
He says rather than wait for convicts to re-offend, he would rather be proactive and be able to arrest them when they come near.
Those locations are singled out, Scott says, because children are known to frequent them.
State law already covers convicts near day-care facilities, schools and playgrounds.
Yet, we wonder: Where’s the research and thoughtful process behind this?
- Yes, where is the research?
What about bans on malls? Sidewalks? Children frequent them too. Where does it stop? Will we be trotting out a new ban every few months or years?
- Amen! Anytime election time comes around, and new place will be added to the unconstitutional laws.
Scott’s reaction to the problem of how to handle sex offenders once they are released is easily understandable.
Sex crimes, especially when they involve children, evoke a visceral angry element in all of us.
Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.
Scott, like other law-enforcement professionals, deals up close with these offenders and sees the harm inflicted on victims on an all too frequent basis.
- Is he a therapist who deals with sex crimes? No, then he knows not what he's talking about. He is a sheriff, who sites behind a desk and finds ways to boost his reputation by seeing whom he can exploit, IMO!
But it would seem as though a more systematic, planned approach — that takes into account constitutional rights, rights of victims and research that shows simply what works best — would make the most sense, rather than rushing into more piecemeal bans on certain locations and not others.
- But that only makes sense, and those in the police force and running this government do not have common sense, that is obvious.
Do we expect sex offenders to hold jobs and support themselves and possibly families or former families once they are released or are they to remain in their homes, supported by taxpayers?
- Yeah, I'm sure many would love to stay home, rent free. So since the tax payers want these laws, and the laws make it impossible for them to keep a job or home, then let the tax payers pay for their food, health care, home, etc.
Is there a way for them to help repay their debt to society and their victims while remaining free?
- Well, obviously, no matter what the offender does, it's never enough punishment. Society is hell bent on torturing folks. Ever since 09/11, this countries morals have gone down the drain, and we are becoming more and more evil, and everyone's rights are being quickly eradicated, all in the name of "security," and "for the children!" When they come for you and your rights, don't scream and shout, just suck it up, because YOU allowed it to happen.
We would like to hear more about substance and anticipated results.
We would like to know that the proposed bans will not result in highly publicized but highly costly legal challenges.
A few years ago all a public official needed to do to get public attention and support and tax dollars was to utter “terrorist threat.”
If we as a community are more concerned about results than a quick headline, we can work toward a long-range policy on sex offenders and predators that will make us all proud — and safe.
No more piecemeal approaches that may lull us into security rather than really provide it, in Lee or any other county.
Success would bring a huge, lasting and earned headline — and fewer headlines when what we do now fails.
By KAHRIN DEINES of the Associated Press
HELENA - The House overwhelmingly endorsed a bill Saturday that would allow sex offenders' past sexual crimes to be introduced as evidence in court.
In most cases, previous crimes are not admissible because they could prejudice a jury's ruling about whether the defendant is guilty of the current crime.
- And the same applies here. If you do this for sex offenders, why are you not doing it for all cases for all criminals?
House Bill 295 would allow Montana courts to make an exception to that rule when it comes to sex offenders and child molesters.
- Again, why only one group, why not do this for all crimes? It's only fair. But injustice is not about being fair, is it?
Rep. Mike Menahan (Email), D-Helena, the bill's sponsor, told his fellow lawmakers Saturday that not allowing past sexual crimes to be entered as evidence leads to “absurd results” in sex-offender trials. Given the high rates of recidivism associated with sexual offenses, he said, past abuses are especially relevant.
- Once again, another uneducated politician, who believes what he hears instead of getting the facts. It's a KNOWN FACT that sex offenders have the LOWEST RECIDIVISM rates of ANY criminals, except murderers.
“If we don't stand up for the victims of violent crime, who will?” Menahan asked.
- Yeah, why don't you do this for ALL violent crimes, like drugs, gang members, DUI offenders, murderers, etc? Why single out one group? Oh yeah, it helps you look good to the sheeple and get you votes and brownie points. Politicians as usual, use sex offenders as your scapegoat.
The House passed the measure by an 89-11 vote. It will have one more reading in the chamber, before moving to the Senate for consideration.
The measure's opponents said it is unconstitutional and could undermine sex offenders' right to a fair trial, thereby exposing the state to lawsuits.
- That is exactly what it does. And it doesn't surprise me, that 89 people voted for this. When the Constitution and Bill of Rights means nothing, and we have a bunch of ignorant people running the country, what do you expect?
“When you are charged with a crime, you're addressing that crime in court that day,” said Rep. Bob Wagner, R-Harrison.
“Don't mess with this system that is designed to protect us all equally,” he said.
- AMEN! But, the system is already broken. People are NOT protected equally, where have you been!
In 1995, Congress enacted a law amending federal evidentiary rules to allow past crimes as evidence in sex-offender and child-molestation cases. Since then state courts and legislatures have had to weigh whether to adopt the change in their own statutes.
A similar bill passed Washington state's Legislature in its last session. A Maryland lawmaker also pushed a measure in 2007 to make past sexual crimes admissible, although it did not make it through both of that state's chambers.
In Montana, the state Supreme Court ruled against the admission of past sexual crimes in the 2002 case of State v. Aakre. However, the justices wrote in a footnote that the Legislature could decide whether the federal exception for sex offenders applies in Montana. “The genesis for this bill is embedded in an invitation from Justice James Nelson to the legislature,” Menahan said.
What a stupid idea. Now everyone will know where to go to get their drugs. But, it reiterates what I have said many times. When they know they can get away with doing something to one group of people, more groups will follow. Next they will want you to have a special license plate to designate who you are, DUI offender, Christian, Jew, Muslim, etc.
By Mike Hasten
BATON ROUGE — If drug dealers want to stay in business after being arrested more than once, they should have to let the world know what they are, says a Lafayette lawmaker who says he’s tired of seeing drug deals and their effects in his neighborhood.
- Ok, so you are tired of seeing them, so how is a special license plate and drivers license going to prevent you from seeing them? This is just more grandstanding as usual!
Rep. Rickey Hardy (Email), D-Lafayette, has pre-filed HB11, that seeks to require second-offense drug dealers to carry special driver’s licenses and put brightly colored license plates on their cars.
“I’m pushing for it to be bright orange,” said Hardy, who envisions that if dealers know they could face such a stigma, they might get out of the trade.
- Do you really think this?
“Drugs destroy communities and destroy families,” he said. “They lead to rape, murder, burglaries, drive-by shootings and the list goes on and on. We can no longer defend the drug dealers. We need to do something about them.”
- So who has been defending them? Why aren't you putting them on a registry just like the sex offender registry. Put all people with any criminal record on a registry for all to see. I'm all for that, since it's good enough for one group, then to not discriminate, it should be done for all criminals, period.
Hardy said the intent of his bill is “to embarrass them. If they don’t want to be upstanding citizens, make them stand out. They want a badge of honor? Here it is.”
- You are really a total idiot. Do you think this is going to "embarrass" them? It's just like a business card. Everyone will know where to go to get their quick fix, and you'd be helping that.
On top of criminal penalties for second offense distribution of controlled substances, Hardy’s bill says that following a second or subsequent felony conviction on or after Aug. 15, 2009, the offender shall apply for a special license plate with “Controlled Substances Conviction” written on it in a distinct color.
Payment of an extra $10 fee for administration costs plus $25 for the plate is required.
License plates are to remain on the offender’s vehicle for eight years. The bill also requires a 365-day suspension of driving privileges of an offender who fails to comply with the requirements of the proposed law.
- For 8 years only? Why not for life? Give them a permanent scarlett letter, just like the sex offenders have. It's a known fact that drugs and DUI kills more kids than predatory sex offenders, so why are they not on a registry for life, and have to obey residency restrictions? Who will be your next group of people to brand?
Another section of the proposed law requires anyone convicted of a second or subsequent felony violation of the CDS law after Aug. 15, 2009, to acquire a driver’s license or special identification card that includes the words “controlled substances offender” printed in orange. The driver’s license must be valid for four years.
A judge can apply the penalty for a first conviction.
“People will know who is a drug dealer,” Hardy said. “I don’t believe they will be looking at this as free advertising.”
- So cool, anyone who does drugs, will know exactly where to go to get their drugs.
He said he expects legislators to argue that requiring a distinctive license plate on a car could unfairly punish a dealer’s wife who has to also drive the car. The same argument was used against requiring a sex offender license plate.
“She’s reaping the profit from the dealing,” Hardy said. “She should have to show it, too.”
- Um no, she should not. You are basically punishing the whole family for one persons crime. Yep, we truly do have a bunch of idiots running this country.
Police officers will know who they’re dealing with if they pull over a car with a drug dealer plate on it, he said, which will put them on alert for possible trouble.
Hardy said he’s not worried about embarrassing anyone because “what’s embarrassing is seeing the people on the streets with the heebie-jeebies and the crack heads. I witness that every day. I don’t live in a gated community. I live in the real world.”
View the article here
They are saying, in this transcript, that just because you are labeled a sex offender, even if you are off probation/parole, that you have to submit to questioning and let the police into your home at anytime to let them search. I think that is not true, and an outright lie! If anyone has proof that this is the case, then please submit a link by commenting on this.
Aired February 13, 2009 - 20:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MIKE BROOKS, GUEST HOST: Breaking news tonight. The desperate search for a 5-year-old Florida girl who vanishes in the middle of the night without a trace, Haleigh Cummings reportedly last seen when she`s tucked into bed for the night. Then five hours later, she`s gone, the back door left wide open. What happened to 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Breaking news in the case of 5-year-old Florida girl Haleigh Cummings, who police say was abducted from her own bed. Police say they found items of interest during their search for the child.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were very successful in doing the search that we wanted to do. We did discover some items of interest. I can`t go into detail as to what those items are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While authorities won`t release details about the items, officials still believe Haleigh was abducted.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We still believe this to be an abduction. There`s no reason to believe that it`s not. Whether she was abducted from her home or she left and Haleigh left on her own and somebody picked her up, of course, that person has no rights to Haleigh.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even though investigators don`t know if Haleigh is still in the area or not, her grandfather believes whole-heartedly she`s right under their nose.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She could be anywhere, but she`s closer than we think.
- I wonder why the grandfather and this man think she is close? Do they know something we should be aware of?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A special agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement says all lab work on evidence in this case has been moved to the front of the line and given the highest priority.
RONALD CUMMINGS, FATHER: They`re trying to find my daughter and get her home safe. We want her back. That`s all we want.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKS: Good evening. I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace. The search growing more desperate by the minute, and local, state and federal agencies join forces to find 5-year-old Florida girl Haleigh Cummings.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: New details today in the case of a 5-year-old child abducted from her own bed in the middle of the night. Police continue to search for Haleigh Cummings and now say they have found items of interest in the case.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whether it`s fingerprints, DNA, lab analysis, we are going to use the full force of the Jacksonville crime laboratory to bring whatever results or leads we can.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is still unknown what items were found or where. Authorities also expanded the search territory today, with over 100 volunteers and 50 law enforcement officers searching through thick brush and water.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Between 100 and 200 people have come together with Texas Equusearch to aid in the search. They brought horses, ATVs and other equipment, ready to hit the ground running.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Besides collecting evidence, investigators have also been administering lie detector tests. We`re told the father has taken one. His 17-year-old girlfriend has, too. Police say Haleigh`s mother has not.
- And what about the Florida statute? She is 17, and this man is 24 years old! That would make this man an unregistered sex offender who has not been charged with a crime yet. I wonder if they will charge him with molestation or something, if he has had sex with this 17 year old child?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As authorities continue to search the area, they`re also talking to sex offenders.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The registered 44 sex offenders who live within five miles of the home have now all been located. Officials are poring through tips, while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has put all evidence testing in this case as its top priority.
- So if they have all been located, then this is 44 sex offenders who are obeying the laws, apparently! And aren't you suppose to have a warrant to search their homes or ask them questions, if they are off probation and/or parole?
RONALD CUMMINGS: I appreciate all the support and help that I`ve got. Obviously, I want my daughter home safe. If you have my daughter and you`re watching this, drop her off somewhere safe.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKS: Good evening. I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace. The search continues for beautiful 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings. What happened to Haleigh Cummings? For the latest, right there at Satsuma, at the mobile command center, I want to go out to Joy Purdy, reporter for CNN affiliate WTLV. What`s the latest, Joy?
JOY PURDY, WTLV: The very latest is something that was mentioned in your headline. The Putnam County sheriff`s office very happy with the search and the results found in that search. They have more than 200 volunteers here, both law enforcement and civilians combing like a grid fashion every inch of brush and open field they can find in this area. And that search has now moved from directly around Haleigh Cummings`s home to about a mile out. And there is so much land to cover, so much water, and they`re going step by step, Mike.
BROOKS: Kind of describe the area for us. Is it a mostly rural area? A lot of heavy underbrush? What`s it like there?
PURDY: It`s a very rural area. It`s a third land, a third residential and a third water. That is what makes up Satsuma. Fifty-three hundred people live here. It`s a very tight-knit town, not a lot of people. In this mobile home park alone, the residents -- not everyone really knows each other. They can live right next to each other, not know each other, very quiet.
So all of a sudden, all of us are descending on their neighborhood, so it`s very overwhelming for them right now. And yes, a lot of thick brush. It`s been very warm out here, but the investigators and the people who are helping have had to dress in long sleeves, long pants because as they take machetes and walking sticks through these wooded areas, they`re getting cut by palmetto limbs and vines and all kinds of branches. But you can hear them breathing very heavily, cutting and hacking through as they try to make their way through. And they basically disappear and all you can hear are their machetes swinging through this brush.
- I sure hope they are watching where they swing those things. The child could be in the brush, and you swing it and harm the child.
BROOKS: It sounds like some really, really tough conditions. Where was the search today concentrated? And where did they find these items of interest that they`re talking about?
PURDY: Well, the search has now -- not been so much concentrated. They are still on the waterways, aerial, and on boats. And they`ve also expanded to about a mile away from the house.
But it`s very interesting that you ask about what exactly they found and where they found it because no matter how many times we asked investigators during their 4:00 PM news conference this evening, they would not tell us, very tight-lipped about what was found, where it was found. But they did tell us it was civilians who found it, some volunteers who found these items. And we don`t even know if they are actual items. They could have been tire tracks that someone took a picture of and then brought that back. So it doesn`t have to be physical anything.
- Do you expect them to tell you this info? It would harm the case, potentially. Why does the media think they have to know everything about the case.
BROOKS: That`s very interesting. We`re going to go out to Jon Leiberman correspondent for "America`s Most Wanted," in New York. Jon, it was a civilian that apparently found this. Now, are they teaming the civilians up with law enforcement so if anything of evidentiary value is found, there won`t be a chain of custody problem?
JON LEIBERMAN, "AMERICA`S MOST WANTED": Yes. You hit the nail on the head, Mike. That`s why they`re doing it. You have Equusearch out there. You have law enforcement out there.
And there are some rather strange circumstances here, too, Mike, as well. And that is that there really didn`t appear to be any forced entry into the home. There`s a screen door there and there was a cinderblock, we`re told, that was placed there to hold the screen door open, and then, of course, the other door was wide open. It doesn`t look like anybody actually broke into the home, though.
- Yes, an unlocked door. Also, why did the girl not scream? I wonder if it was someone she knew? If it was indeed someone sneaking into the home like they suggest?
So that makes law enforcement, you know, look back a month back to see, you know, who was in contact with this family? Did somebody know that Ronald doesn`t come home from work until 3:30 in the morning? Did somebody prop open that screen door to get easier access inside the home? So there`s really a lot going on here.
BROOKS: Yes. It sounds like there`s a lot going on. It sounds like there`s a lot of questions still to be answered.
- Duh! I find it funny how media reporters portray things, and things they say. Hype it all up!
But right now, I want to go out to a very, very special guest. She`s there in Satsuma at the mobile command center. It`s Crystal Cummings. She`s Haleigh`s paternal aunt, Ronald Cummings`s sister. Thank you for being with us, Crystal.
CRYSTAL CUMMINGS, HALEIGH`S AUNT: Thank you.
BROOKS: If -- right now, Crystal, if you could say something to Haleigh`s abductor, what would you say to this person?
- How do you know she was abducted? Yes, it looks that way, but you are assuming again!
CRYSTAL CUMMINGS: I would say, Please bring her home. There`s a lot of family members out here, a lot of people that want Haleigh home. No matter where you take her, just bring her home, please. We`re waiting for her and we love her.
BROOKS: I know it`s got to be extremely difficult there with your family, just not knowing what happened to this beautiful little 5-year-old girl. Now, tell us a little bit about Haleigh. Tell us, what is she like? What does she like to do? She looks like such a sweet young girl.
CRYSTAL CUMMINGS: She is. She likes to play with other children. She likes make-up. She likes to dress up. She likes to play on computers and her grandma`s phone.
- She is a kid, and does what all kids do. Why do we even care what she likes to do?
BROOKS: Now, what was her favorite color? Does she have any favorite toys that are there at the house still?
CRYSTAL CUMMINGS: Her favorite color is purple and pink. She does have a camera that she got for Christmas. That`s probably her favorite toy. I don`t know.
BROOKS: What a gorgeous smile this little girl has, what a gorgeous smile.
I want to go out to the lines right now. Wanda from Tennessee, thanks for joining us.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Thank you, Mike, for taking my call. You`re so -- just such a competent person. I just enjoy you. I`m just really hurt about this. I`ve got family members, you know, and children in, you know, my family. My question is, if a civilian or someone did find something, how far away was it from the house? Are they expecting to -- Equusearch to come and go into the water again? Or could you give me some more information, please?
BROOKS: I can tell you the search for this little girl is not over and they have not exhausted everything. I want to go out to Joy Purdy, reporter for CNN affiliate WTLV. Can you answer that question?
PURDY: Sure, Mike. That search we know has gone about a mile away from the home. But investigators are not saying where any items were found, where any evidence was found. They`re not saying how it was discovered. We don`t know if it was something that was seen stuck in a tree or if it was something that somebody tripped over or if it was something that was just a little off. We just don`t know. They will not tell us.
- And why do you expect them to? It could hamper their case!
But we do know that tomorrow, when Equusearch starts the search again in the morning, they`re going to expand it even father than that mile away from the house. So it keeps growing and growing as they trace and retrace their steps.
BROOKS: You know, and that`s normal. If they find some of these items of interest, if they find something there -- and I can tell you, having been on searches like this myself for evidence -- after finding something there, they will take it and expand it out even more. So I`m -- I`m -- it sounds like they found something significant. Whether it was a tire tread, whether it was a piece of clothing, we don`t know. But it sounds like it`s something very significant.
I want to go back out to Crystal Cummings, Haleigh`s paternal aunt and Ronald`s sister. You had mentioned to one of our NANCY GRACE staff that you wanted to speak for Misty, Ronald`s 17-year-old girlfriend.
CRYSTAL CUMMINGS: Yes, I do.
BROOKS: What would you like to say?
CRYSTAL CUMMINGS: I would like to say that Misty is very responsible, and even though she`s 17, that`s not that young. I know plenty of people that would leave their children with a 17-year-old. And she loves them children, and they love her just as much.
- Yes, that is true, but she is also under the legal age of consent, based on Florida statute, and the boyfriend, if he has had sex with her, has committed a sex crime, period. It is what it is, and it's against the law.
BROOKS: Now, how long...
CRYSTAL CUMMINGS: Misty wouldn`t do anything -- I`m sorry. I know she wouldn`t do anything to hurt them.
- No, you do not know this. You never know what a desperate person will do. I know you want to assume the best, but you cannot rule out ANYONE!
BROOKS: Yes. Now, how long have Ronald and Misty been together?
CRYSTAL CUMMINGS: They`ve been together for a while. I`m not sure exactly how long, but it`s been a while.
- So is awhile more than a year, if so, she would've then been 16 and again, illegal by the law.
BROOKS: But it has been quite some time, you say?
CRYSTAL CUMMINGS: Yes.
BROOKS: Now, do you know if they have any neighbors or if they had any enemies at all?
CRYSTAL CUMMINGS: Not that I know of.
BROOKS: Had they had any disputes recently with anyone? Had Ronald had any run-ins with someone, or Misty?
CRYSTAL CUMMINGS: Not that I know of.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Marie Griffis says it`s the kind of anxiety where you can`t eat, you can`t sleep. All you can do is hope.
MARIE GRIFFIS, HALEIGH`S GRANDMOTHER: It`s just emptiness inside.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Feelings expressed by strangers and friends who have left mementos praying for her young granddaughter`s safe return.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re now approaching the 80th hour that Haleigh`s been missing. And again, we`re still extremely concerned about her safety and her whereabouts.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Clues. Clues. That`s what we`re looking for. We`re looking for scraps of clothing. We`re looking for little Haleigh, is what we`re looking for, anything that can point to the direction of where that little girl is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We did discover some items of interest. I can`t go into detail as to what those items are.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have actively investigated and pursued over 350 leads that have come in to date. So we are not just going to limit this search to Putnam County. We`ll go wherever it takes us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
911 OPERATOR: What`s her date of birth?
RONALD CUMMINGS: Y`all are (DELETED) playing games, man! I`m going to (DELETED) kill somebody!
- I agree, what does a date of birth have to do with it? Even her age should not matter, IMO.
911 OPERATOR: OK. Tell him we understand. We need to get her date of birth.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s her date of birth?
RONALD CUMMINGS: (DELETED) her birthday! We need to find her! (DELETED) her date of birth!
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace. The desperate search for beautiful 5-year-old Haleigh Cummings continues in Florida. We just don`t know what happened to this girl.
Back out to Jon Leiberman, correspondent for "America`s Most Wanted. Jon, do we know how many people have been polygraphed so far in this case?
LEIBERMAN: Well, we know that the little girl`s father, and of course, his girlfriend have each been polygraphed. And police are satisfied with those results, Mike. So at this point, while we can`t say they`ve been ruled out completely, they`re satisfied with the results. They`ve both been extremely cooperative. And as you saw, they`re full of emotion, which is what you would expect when a father`s little girl goes missing.
BROOKS: I want to go out to Pat Brown, criminal profiler and author of "Killing for Sport." Pat, there`s so many different scenarios we`re looking at. What are some of the possible scenarios that may have happened here?
- What is the deal with the book plug? Who gives a rats ass about what books she authored? Typical media BS!
PAT BROWN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Well, Mike, I think the most important thing is the person had a familiarity with that house. This wasn`t somebody just came in off the street, a trucker going by, seeing a little girl out in the yard and grabbing her. This is somebody who obviously knew that the father was not going to be there, would be able to know what the set-up of the house is like, somebody who`d be willing to open the door, prop it open, somehow get in the house, turn a light on.
- And someone who would have known the back door would be unlocked. Because they said there was not any forced entry, so maybe the girlfriend left the door unlocked for someone else? Who knows, only time will tell. But I suspect the girlfriend knows something about this, but that is just my hunch.
This is somebody who would have to be extremely familiar with the house, or it has to be somebody from within the house. So at least the advantage is the police will have a small group of suspects to work with, either somebody was has had -- in the house, somebody who -- a relative, somebody who has had contact, somebody who worked in the house, somebody who was a neighbor. It has to be something -- a very small circle of people that they`re looking at.
BROOKS: Back out to Joy Purdy, reporter for CNN affiliate WTLV. Joy, have they cleared all of the 44 registered sex offenders that live within the 5-mile radius?
PURDY: Cleared? Yes and no. The Putnam County sheriff`s office says cleared, yes, in the sense that they have contacted all 44 in that 5-mile radius and their homes have been checked. However, they say over and over again, quote, unquote, "Everyone is still a suspect at this point." No one is cleared.
- So how did they LEGALLY search all these offenders homes? Did they all consent to a search?
BROOKS: I want to go back out to Crystal Cummings. She`s Haleigh`s paternal aunt, Ronald`s sister. Last question for you. If right now, you could say something to Haleigh, what would you say to Haleigh?
CRYSTAL CUMMINGS: I would like to say that your daddy, Misty, your grandma, me and your mama, we all love you and we want you home. Everyone out here is looking for you. And if you`re watching, we love you and we will bring you home. We will find you.
BROOKS: Crystal Cummings, thank you so much for joining us. Our hearts, our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family as you go through this tough time, and we want to make sure that Haleigh comes home alive.
Want to go out to the lines. Donna from New York. Thanks for joining us, Donna.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I want to know about the brick that was used to pry the back door open. Supposedly, the bricks -- there was a pile of them that was located near the woods. If the father didn`t know that the bricks were there, which he said he did not know, who knew those bricks were there? And is it possible somebody came in through the front door? Was that front door locked?
BROOKS: That`s a great question. Jon Leiberman?
LEIBERMAN: That is a great question. First, as to the brick, that is now at the crime lab. They`re checking it for anything they might be able to get off of it because, clearly, it was propping open that side door. Now, of course, another scenario -- to talk to your caller -- is, did this little girl for some reason wander outside, and then she was somehow snatched or something like that?
We should point out also, Mike, the police report will go into it a little bit more, but we have learned that the canines did sniff a trail from where that screen door was -- was propped open out toward the pond and then back again. We`ll get into more of that later. But we don`t believe -- we believe that all of the activity was at this back door, not at any other entryway.
- So have they searched the pond? This is in Florida, known for alligators. Is there any alligators in that pond?
BROOKS: Very interesting. And when we`re talking about this cinderblock -- I want to go out to Dr. Joshua Perper. He`s chief medical examiner, Broward County, and author of "When to Call the Doctor." Dr. Perper, is there a possibility at all that there could be any possible touch DNA on this particular cinderblock that the father has been talking about?
- Again with the darn book plugs. Is this an investigation or a show to plug books?
DR. JOSHUA PERPER, CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER, BROWARD COUNTY: Yes, it`s certainly a possibility. But it`s a matter of fact (ph). And if there is a DNA, they will have to determine to whom it belongs -- in other words, to check against the father and the girlfriend and anybody else. But it`s still -- it wouldn`t (ph) identify it with a person because you need a suspect to match it against the DNA present. And so they have what`s called touch DNA. So a few -- just a few, three or four cells, when somebody touches the brick, are sufficient for making -- for doing the test.
BROOKS: Interesting. And should they get some of this DNA, there is a database called CODIS. Now, local, federal and state law enforcement, corrections, probation and parole all feed into this particular database, correct, Doctor?
PERPER: That`s correct. And they are going to do that. If they found, indeed (ph), fingerprint, they would check them against the database, against the national database.
BROOKS: Right. And so, hopefully, if there is any touch DNA on this cinderblock, hopefully, that person has been in the system at one time or another, in the local, state or federal law enforcement, corrections and probation and parole system.
Also tonight, to tonight`s "Case Alert." A full-scale investigation under way in a deadly plane crash near Buffalo, New York. Continental connecting flight 3407 plunges into a home after 10:00 PM last Thursday evening while on approach to Buffalo-Niagara Airport, 50 souls killed, including 4 crew members and one person on the ground. The National Transportation Safety Board says the crew noticed significant ice build-up on the leading edge of the wings and the windshield before the crash. Flight 3407 originated in Newark, New Jersey. Among the victims, a 9/11 widow, an off-duty pilot and New York state trooper.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will begin a lengthy process, that will take weeks, of DNA matching. And so part of what we`ll need is to obtain DNA from family members and any DNA that may exist from the victims from the past, and we`ll have to match up the DNA.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKS: They`ve put up a special family assistance number for relatives at 1-800-621-3263.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are conflicting accounts in the case of that 5-year-old girl who vanished from her bed 70 miles north of Orlando. Well, Ronald Cummings`s girlfriend is disputing initial reports she was sleeping next to the young girl.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were y`all in the same bed?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. She was in her bed in front of the TV, and me and Junior were in my bed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks, in for Nancy Grace, and we`re taking your calls live. I just want to remind our viewers, if you have a question of me or one of our expert panel, remember that number is 1-877-NANCY-01. But if any of our viewers know anything at all about this case of the beautiful missing girl, Miss Cummings, I want you to call the Putnam County sheriff`s tip line at 1-386-329-0808.
And with that, let`s go out to the lines. Lynn from Nebraska, you have a question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Hi, Mike. I love your show. And I come from Washington, D.C., myself.
BROOKS: You have a question?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I`d like to know, does the 17-year-old go to school or have a job? And what kind of work does the father do?
- And this question would be relevant how?
BROOKS: Joy Purdy, reporter with CNN affiliate WTLV, do you know if she`s...
PURDY: Well, we don`t know a whole -- we don`t know a whole lot about the girlfriend. She`s been kept out of our reach, family-wise. The husband we do know works for a company that makes big parts for bridges, is what we understand.
BROOKS: Got you. And on the police report, apparently, it says she`s unemployed, so she must be -- she must watch the children full-time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come home to us. I know you are watching over her and protecting her and keeping her.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For the second time in just as many days, friends and family say a prayer and light a candle for little Haleigh`s safe return.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All things work unto you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Family members and loved ones have been sitting under a tent yards away from the home for much of the day as they lean on each other for support.
CRYSTAL SHEFFIELD, MOM OF MISSING 5-YR-OLD HALEIGH CUMMINGS: I don`t know where she is or who has her. I just want her home.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Haleigh`s grandmother insists the 5-year-old would never willingly go with a stranger but she still has faith the little girl is alive.
MARIE GRIFFIS, GRANDMOTHER OF 5-YR-OLD HALEIGH CUMMINGS: Haleigh is living and breathing. I don`t feel that there`s anything that has happened to her bad.
RONALD CUMMINGS, FATHER OF MISSING 5-YR-OLD HALEIGH CUMMINGS: Somebody stole my child out of my bed. I come home from work and my child was not there.
911 DISPATCHER: Tell him we got them coming. He needs to try to calm down a little bit, OK? The officers are going to come out there and do what they can. We can`t have him screaming and yelling at the officers whenever they get there, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Give me (EXPLETIVE DELETED) phone. I got better people to talk to than a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) mother that ain`t coming.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE BROOKS, GUEST HOST: I`m Mike Brooks in for Nancy Grace.
We`re hearing those 911 calls, those frantic 911 calls, and I`d say if someone had taken my little girl I would be hollering and screaming and cursing, too.
- Of course, anybody would. The 911 dispatched needs to chill out her/himself.
I want to go right out to the attorneys. Paul Batista, defense attorney and author of "Death`s Witness," and also joining us at Atlanta, Randy Kessler, defense attorney.
- Another idiotic book plug!
First to you, Paul, this girl is 17-year-olds old, the girlfriend. Now, for a police to question her, she is technically a juvenile. Is there something special they have to do or if she -- since she`s so close to the case and -- circumstances, they don`t have to?
PAUL BATISTA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY, AUTHOR OF "DEATH`S WITNESS": There`s nothing really special way they have to do, Mike. So long does she has -- there`s no age cutoff, there`s no threshold. So long as she has the maturity to focus on the questions, the ability to answer them, no impediment to the police asking her questions.
Like anyone else, she can decline to answer questions from law enforcement. But apparently he or she`s spoken to police and is prepared to continue to cooperate.
BROOKS: Now, now, Paul, all 44 of the sex offenders within a five-mile radius have apparently been interviewed and for the most part -- we heard from Joy Purdy for the most part have been cooperative and have been cleared. Now, as a condition of their release, once they`re released from jail, is there something that if law enforcement comes to your door and knocks on your door to check on you, you have to cooperate?
BATISTA: There is. You know, the registered sex offender statutes in most states, and most states have them, Mike, make it a mandatory condition usually for life that when a registered sex offender is approached by law enforcement with questions, that person has to answer those questions unlike an ordinary citizen.
It`s one of the disabilities that really persists through life for people who fall into the category of registered sex offenders.
- You are full of s--t! If they are off probation and/or parole, they do NOT have to answer your questions, nor let you search their homes, unless you have a warrant. If they are on probation and/or parole, then yes, they do have to comply. Just because you are a sex offender, doesn't give the police the right to search your home and possessions or question you at any time, without probable cause.
BROOKS: Now someone comes -- if an FBI agent or someone comes to their door, knocks in their door, and says, hey, we want to come in, do they have to give consent?
BATISTA: Again, Mike, it`s the terms of the statutes in most states make it mandatory on the registered sex offender that that person allow the FBI or other law enforcement into the home and respond to the questions. And there will be consequences for them should they refuse to cooperate and respond.
- You are full of it! And you are a DA? The gestapo need a warrant and probable cause, period! Why don't you show me the proof of your lies?
BROOKS: Yes. Well, I`m -- again, we`re also hearing that some of these sex offenders were coming forward saying, hey, I had nothing to do with this. Clear my name right now. I`ll do whatever you want.
- Even if I lived there, and had nothing to do with the case, and was a sex offender, I'd not answer any of their questions, unless they had a warrant to search. Yes, it may make me look suspicious, but it's their right to not consent to a search, invading their privacy, but, the police are hoping they consent.
BATISTA: It`s the race to the confessional, Mike. And one really can`t blame them.
BROOKS: No, no, especially in a case like this, you know, no, absolutely not.
I want to go to Randy Kessler. Randy, we hear that the FBI and other law enforcement involved in this are interviewing and now re-interviewing some of the relatives and other people close to this case. Is that uncommon?
RANDY KESSLER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: No. They need to interview and interview and interview until they get to the bottom line. You know, there`s no reason they should stop until they see everything, everywhere, everyone. I mean, and everybody should be documenting what`s said.
I`m glad that the police are being tight lipped so that when a witness does make a statement, it`s not because they heard it on our show or they heard it somewhere else. It`s got to be independent and it`s got to be original. And so they need to ask all the questions and then they can piece it together and see what makes sense and what doesn`t make sense.
BROOKS: Absolutely. You know, I think they`re doing a great job. OK, we found some items of interest. We`re not going to tell you because once you get a suspect, a possible suspect, you bring them in, you start interviewing them and they`re only going to know certain things if they -- if they were actually involved in that case.
Right now, I want to go out to a very special guest at the command center there in Satsuma, Florida. Marie Griffis, she`s Haleigh`s maternal grandmother, She`s Crystal -- the mother`s mother.
Thanks for being with us, Marie.
GRIFFIS: You`re welcome.
BROOKS: Now, your daughter, was she interviewed or re-interviewed today by the FBI?
GRIFFIS: Yes, she -- the FBI -- they had her around somewhere here in the command center for a few hours this morning.
BROOKS: Can you tell us anything at all about the meeting? What she was asked?
- What, do you think they talk with many people at once? Do you think she is psychic? What kind of question is this?
GRIFFIS: No, I can`t. She hasn`t told me anything about it. She said she just -- she had looked at some pictures and I suppose it was some pictures that we had given access to the media from her MySpace page of Haleigh so that they would have new, fresh pictures, you know, to show of Haleigh but as far as that -- that`s really all I got from her.
BROOKS: Now was Crystal -- has she been polygraphed by the FBI or anyone else as of right now?
GRIFFIS: No. She hasn`t been polygraphed and any one of in our immediate family has not been polygraphed. We have been asked to be polygraphed and we all agreed. The only thing we have done is given them a written statement from the day before up until Tuesday morning.
GRIFFIS: . as to what we all done that day.
BROOKS: Yes. Did they say when they were going to ask you to take a polygraph?
GRIFFIS: Today is Friday.
GRIFFIS: This was yesterday morning. I do believe that they asked us to take that test and we`ve done our paperwork but we haven`t yet received the polygraph.
BROOKS: Right. Now have you ever been inside of the house where Ronald and Misty were living?
GRIFFIS: No, I haven`t. No, I haven`t.
BROOKS: Do you know if anyone has access to that house or anyone else besides Misty and Ronald have a key to that house? Anything at all like that?
GRIFFIS: I have no -- I have no idea if anyone has a key or if Misty or Ronald has given anyone a key.
BROOKS: Now your daughter apparently was taken to a doctor today. How is she doing and what happened?
GRIFFIS: She`s doing good. She just got a little dehydrated and it was -- it was really, really hot and, you know, she hasn`t eat a lot and she hasn`t drank a lot and, you know, she is like, mama, I can`t eat because I don`t know if my baby`s eaten. I don`t know if.
GRIFFIS: . they`re feeding her and you know, we just -- we try to get her -- she eats a little bit because we tell her, you know, you got to keep your strength up for Haleigh and she just -- I think she didn`t have enough fluids in her body but they got her fixed and sent her back and we got Junior tonight for her visitation and we went ahead and sent her to where we`ll be staying tonight and I talked to her and her fiance a while ago and she`s there with Junior by her -- just them two with Junior.
And she really sounded great. She -- she sounded like she was very, very happy even though Haleigh`s not there with her, just having Haleigh`s brother with her, I figured she would draw strength from that.
BROOKS: Yes. No, I -- I think it`s good. Tell her to keep hydrated. You got to eat a little bit of something because, you know, when you`re under so much stress, your body does very, very strange things so tell her to keep hydrated and I`m glad she`s there with junior.
I want to go back out to Jon Leiberman, "America`s Most Wanted" correspondent.
Jon, can you kind of set the stage for us on the whole timeline? How this whole thing started. Just kind of give us a reader`s digest version of that.
JON LEIBERMAN, CORRESPONDENT, AMERICA`S MOST WANTED: Yes, well, I mean you`re talking about around 3:00 in the morning, you know, the timeline is actually very simple in terms of the actual events. It turns out little Haleigh was in her own bed and at some point she apparently -- the girlfriend woke up from her bed sleeping with Junior have -- that`s how he`s been referred to -- and notices that Haleigh isn`t in the bed.
She sees that the side door is open apparently. Within minutes Ronald comes home, Haleigh`s father, and everything goes from there. 911 is called and it`s a pretty tight timeline there on Monday but something that`s interesting, Mike, is we have our hands on the police report now.
LEIBERMAN: Which actually talks about the moment police get there, they begin assessing the situation as you know. And in this particular situation, they call the canine unit out. This is extremely, extremely important. The canine unit actually initiates the trail that leads out the back door, gets the little girl`s scent, and out towards a wooded path and then they see a small child, what they believe a footprint in the dirt also.
BROOKS: We`ll talk more about that and we`ll be joined by Patrick Saunders, clinical psychologist, and Marc Klaas, president and founder of KlassKids Foundation.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The last time little Haleigh Cummings was with her mom and her mom`s fiance was at this home in Baker County nearly two weeks ago. It is the place where we met the fiance, Chad Griffis. Griffis says he prays the 5-year-old is all right. Just thinking about her brings him to tears.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just bring her home safe please.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All the world`s a suspect. We are going to treat everybody, every family member, every associate, every neighbor like a suspect until we can eliminate them.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Putnam County Sheriff`s Office says it, with the FBI, have interviewed everyone thoroughly in the immediate area about the girl`s disappearance including Haleigh`s family.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Investigators tell us Haleigh could have been taken anywhere since she disappeared from her Satsuma home early Tuesday morning. Her dad who came home to find her missing has been questioned and polygraphed and passed.
CUMMINGS: Somebody stole my child. It`s not like a bicycle or a -- somebody stole my child from me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Along with his 17-year-old girlfriend who says she was sleeping in the same room and heard nothing.
- So which is it? Was she sleeping in the same room, or in another room with Junior? How can someone not know where they were sleeping the night something like this occurred? Sounds fishy to me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean I didn`t notice about Haleigh then and saw the back door open and then I go in the room and she is gone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Detectives say they will search, research and then search again any place there might be evidence.
911 DISPATCHER: OK, listen to me. I`m getting this information. I`m not the officer driving out there, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
911 DISPATCHER: They`re coming out there to handle that situation. I need to gather all information from you over the phone.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
911 DISPATCHER: It has nothing to do with me driving out there. The officers are taking care of that, OK? They`re coming out there, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
911 DISPATCHER: OK. I`m going to stay on the phone with you, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
911 DISPATCHER: Until they get there, OK? Tell him we got them coming. He needs to try to calm down a little bit, OK? The officers are going to come out there and do what they can. We can`t have him screaming and yelling at the officers whenever they get there, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKS: I`m Mike Brooks in for Nancy Grace.
Sybil from Florida, thank you for joining us.
SYBIL, FROM FLORIDA: Yes, I watch your show every night and you know, no one has said anything about the fact that this girl is 17 living with the older man and knowing how teenagers like to party?
- Or that she is 17 and the boyfriend is 24, which makes this an illegal relationship!
BROOKS: Well, you know, Sybil, there are a lot of theories out there right now, but.
SYBIL: Yes. You know, the teenagers like to party, especially when they get a house to themselves. Some other teenagers around there and left that door open, you know.
SYBIL: . or did something with this little girl because she woke up and found the party going on but we enjoy your show and watch it every night.
BROOKS: Well, thank you, Sybil, and thanks again for calling in. You know, we heard from Crystal Cummings who said that Misty was a very responsible 17-year-old girl so there`s a lot of theories out there but we don`t want -- rush to judgment on Sybil, the father -- I mean on Misty, the father or anyone else. So, as the facts evolve, I`m we`ll hear more.
Right now I want to bring in Marc Klaas, president and founder of KlaasKids Foundation. He, too, has been a crime victim. As you know, you recall, Marc`s daughter Polly was kidnapped from a slumber party and murdered back in 1993.
Marc, thank you for being with us.
MARC KLAAS, PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER, KLAASKIDS FOUNDATION: Sure.
BROOKS: What do you make of the 17-year-old babysitter/friend -- girlfriend story?
KLAAS: Well I -- you know, I have no idea. Here`s what I think about the story.
KLAAS: If, in fact, what she says is true, that somebody came in and stole that little girl while the three of them were sleeping in a room, and the police report is very clear that at least the two children were in a bed together, that if that happened then we`re dealing with a very desperate and dangerous individual who is committed a very brazen and high risk crime.
- You apparently have not been listening to this story. All three we not sleeping in the same room, nor was the two children in the bed together, from what the girlfriend has said. The victim was in another room, while the girlfriend and Junior slept in another room. This is how facts get distorted, and nobody corrected him on it either, which is another problem, IMO.
One that, had he woken up the other people in the room the choices he would -- or he or they would have had to make at that moment could have -- could have resulted in -- homicide. That`s number one.
Number two, I`d like to speak very quickly to the whole idea of the searchers finding evidence. I can assure that you that Tim Miller briefed his volunteer searchers that if they were to find anything relevant to the case that they would identify it and step back and call in the authorities so that it could be properly and professionally processed. He`s the -- the last thing he wants to do is involve himself in something that`s going to compromise evidence.
And number three, as far as the -- as far as who has keys to the house, have the locks been changed? I think is an important question because Ron just recently moved into that trailer and the possibility certainly exists that past tenants may very well still have keys to the trailer so there are an awful lot of things that have to be taken into consideration as they move forward with this investigation.
- This is a good point. Have they questioned the previous owners of the trailer?
BROOKS: No, you -- and you make some great points, Marc, especially the ones with the locks and the evidence. I know Putnam County sheriffs are taking great, great lengths to make sure that there`s no issues when it comes to chain of command, chain of custody of this evidence so I know that for a fact that they`re looking at this.
I want to go back out to Jon Leiberman with "America`s Most Wanted," correspondent.
Jon, we talk about the report. If you noticed in the report -- initially, it says foul play suspected. And it said -- Rose Marie, we got that? There it is right there. Right on the top right corner. Foul play suspected, no. What changed that?
LEIBERMAN: Well, you know, this was obviously an initial report taken right away. That could even be a misprint or things of that sort but I think once police got there and they began investigating, they clearly saw that the little girl was missing and they clearly changed this to thinking an abduction did take place.
Right now I want to go out to clinical psychologist, Patricia Saunders.
Patricia, thanks for sticking with us. Now, as this goes on, what is the family going through? We just saw Crystal, the mother, has gotten ill. I mean, could all this stress make you actually physically ill?
PATRICIA SAUNDERS, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Absolutely, Mike. This is about the worst thing that can happen to anybody. The -- threatened loss, the loss of their baby that initially people respond to a traumatic event with a certain kind of numbness but terror sets in and this kind of a rollercoaster between rage and fear and not feeling much of anything. The stress on the body is enormous and people will have to take extra good care of themselves or they`ll get seriously ill.
BROOKS: You know we heard the whole thing when Ronald came home and found out that she was missing and the call to 911 and the anger there, then we saw him the next night right there, that next night, on the NANCY GRACE show, and it looks like the stress was really taking a toll on him. I mean he looked, he looked fatigued. I`m sure he hasn`t slept. I`m sure she hasn`t eaten. It`s just an unbelievable case.
I want to go out to the lines. Barbara from New Jersey, do you have a question?
BARBARA, FROM NEW JERSEY: Yes, I actually wanted to ask you what Mr. Klaas had said about locks on the door. I do live in this mobile home. And the next door neighbors were thrown out where I live -- I`m in New Jersey.
BROOKS: Right. Right.
BARBARA: And they did come back to the trailer a month or so after. That`s why I wanted to know about who owned that trailer? Or rented it before them? Because that to me.
BARBARA: . would have been a very good point of interest.
BARBARA: Mr. Klaas -- and I do know for a fact you cannot put a dead bolt which was stated on a screen door.
BROOKS: OK. OK, quickly, 10 seconds, Jon Leiberman, do know if the locks have been changed when they moved in? Quickly.
LEIBERMAN: We don`t, but we do know this is one thing that investigators are looking into, in addition to whether the enemies of this -- of his family, if they owed money to anybody. All of that is being looked at right now.
BROOKS: And now a look at the rest of the stories making headlines this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE ANTHONY, CAYLEE ANTHONY`S GRANDFATHER: I`m hoping that I am the one that actually taught her "You are My Sunshine." She was my sunshine.
NANCY GRACE, HOST: On the heels of yesterday`s memorial, nearly 2,000 people in attendance, we learned that little Caylee`s remains have been cremated for several days. This after the Anthonys` lawyer denies that. 150 threats. Were they threats on the Anthonys themselves?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, they were life threats.
GRACE: Oh, good lord. At a time like this what nut job would be making threat on a grieving family? This while we learn the tot mom chose not to even ask to watch the memorial behind bars.
- Hell, you seen them all standing outside the families home, on a daily basis, screaming at the grandparents. Those are the nut jobs that would do something like this.
911 DISPATCHER: What`s her date of birth?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You all are (EXPLETIVE DELETED) playing games, man, I`m going to (EXPLETIVE DELETED) kill somebody.
911 DISPATCHER: OK. Tell him we understand. We need to get her date of birth.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s her date of birth?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (EXPLETIVE DELETED) birthday. We need to find her. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) her date of birth.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A frantic search is under way right now for Haleigh Cummings. She was last seen Monday night with her 2-year-old brother in her bedroom.
CUMMINGS: I know what happened, my daughter came up missing out of my house in the middle of the night. Beside that, no, I don`t know.
GRACE: When they called to tell you little Haleigh was missing, Miss Sheffield, did they have a theory about what had happened to her?
SHEFFIELD: They just said that someone come in there and took her. That`s what they told me.
CUMMINGS: Somebody stole my child out of my bed. I come home from my work and my child was not there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKS: Tonight, let`s stop to remember Army Sergeant First-Class, Daniel Sexton, 53, from Wentzville, Missouri, killed in Iraq. A military police officer, he also served in the Persian Gulf War. He loves skiing, snow boarding, playing video games with his teenage sons. He leaves behind widow Tory, sons Shane and Corey.
Daniel Sexton, an American hero.
Thank you to all our guests at home and especially to you. See you tomorrow night, 8:00 sharp Eastern. Until then, stay safe.
By Dan Wilson - Post-Crescent staff writer
Delay sought on law requiring thousands more names, details
Wisconsin is fighting to stall a federal deadline to change its sex offender registry that likely will require adding thousands to the list, including those convicted of minor offenses.
The changes are mandated under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, named for a 6-year-old boy who was abducted and murdered in 1981 in Florida. Passed by Congress in 2006, the law has a July 1 deadline that would force Wisconsin to add juveniles to its online registry, create classes of registrants who would appear on the list for set lengths of time and include much more detail about each offender.
The state Department of Corrections is worried about the legal hurdles it has to leap — specifically legislative changes — to comply with the law. Defense attorneys are concerned the expanded definition of a sex offender and the detailed information required on the registry will force them to take to trial minor cases that normally would be resolved through a plea deal.
"We are going to be submitting a request for a one-year extension for substantial compliance with the U.S. Department of Justice which is responsible for review of compliance packages from the states," said Melissa Roberts, director of sex offender programs for the state Department of Corrections.
The federal law allows states to apply for two one-year extensions. No state is in compliance with the requirements and several states have mounted legal challenges against certain aspects of the law, according to a recent New York Times report.
Wisconsin has 18,797 offenders listed on its Web site. That number could balloon under the federal law's requirements, which include:
- Adding juveniles to the registry. Wisconsin requires juvenile offenders to register, but does not post the information on the Web site. Wisconsin has 1,891 juvenile registered sex offenders.
- Setting up three classes of registrants based on their offenses, with 15-year, 25-year and lifetime registration. Wisconsin has its own standards that require periods of registration ranging from 15 years to life, but they don't sync with the federal standards.
- Adding more detailed information to the Web site, including where offenders work or go to school, the kinds of cars they drive and complete listings of offenses. The Web site also must be searchable by municipality, not just ZIP codes.
"We have to look at getting legislative changes made," Roberts said. "Not only is there not enough time to get all the legislative changes made, but there are changes that need to be made in the technology."
Neenah attorney Rob Bellin said he is advising his clients charged with misdemeanor sex offenses — the sort most people don't view on the same level as violent, predatory acts — that they could face the possibility of registration if convicted.
- More retroactive (ex post facto) BS which is a direct violation of the constitution and peoples rights. This kind of illegal crap is going to continue until it affects everyone, except the rich and famous of course.
Offenses such as inappropriate touching or having sex with a child older than 16 are misdemeanors now and don't require registration, but they would under the federal mandate.
Bellin points to the case of Adam Burrows, an Outagamie County sheriff's deputy charged with fourth-degree sexual assault. Burrows is accused of fondling a 16-year-old girl, and is going to trial because he can't risk ending up on the sex offender registry.
- What? He should be on the registry, if he did this to a 16 year old child! Just more of the "good ole' boys" network in action, protecting their own instead of holding them to the same standards as the general public.
"For Burrows, I think it would be very difficult to have a job as a police officer if you are a registered sex offender," Bellin said.
- Yeah, it should be, and he should be on the sex offender registry, period! He is/was a person of trust who fondled a 16 year old child, why the hell is he not in jail/prison and on the registry like the average citizen would be?
Roberts couldn't say for certain how many additional people would have to be added to the state registry for it to comply with the Adam Walsh act, but it could be in the thousands.
- So why don't you review criminal records of all those kids under 16 and give us the facts, instead of some assumed number?
TORONTO (UPI) -- A judge in Canada has ruled that Internet users have no expectation of privacy and police can track people through Internet protocols without warrants.
The ruling by Ontario Superior Court Judge Lynne Leitch is binding on lower courts, and gives law enforcement a new tool to use in investigating such matters as child pornography, the National Post reported Friday.
Ruling in a child pornography possession case, Leitch found that the Canadian Charter does not provide a "reasonable expectation of privacy" regarding subscriber information retained by Internet service providers.
Police asked Bell Canada in 2007 for subscriber information on an IP address used by someone who had allegedly accessed child pornography. Bell provided the requested information without inquiring whether police had a search warrant.
The defense argued that police should have been required to obtain a search warrant before seeking such information.
Privacy rights advocates cautioned the ruling could have consequences for law-abiding Internet users, the Post said.
"There is no confidentiality left on the Internet if this ruling stands," James Stribopoulos, a law professor at York University's Osgoode Hall Law School, said.
By Denny Walsh
In only the third such ruling in the nation, a Sacramento judge has found to be unconstitutional a statute that makes it a federal crime for someone to fail to register as a sex offender and relocate from one state to another.
U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton found that, in enacting the 2006 Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, "Congress overstepped its authority under the (Constitution's) commerce clause."
Karlton made rulings this week in two prosecutions and threw them out, saying SORNA does not meet the U.S. Supreme Court's standard for congressional jurisdiction over interstate commerce.
Federal prosecutors immediately filed notices they will appeal and asked the judge to keep the two defendants locked up until the appeals are resolved.
Karlton has set a Wednesday hearing on those requests.
"We believe the court's ruling to be in error, and are reviewing potential appeal" to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said acting U.S. Attorney Larry Brown. As with all federal appeals, this one must be approved by the solicitor general, but Brown said he expects no resistance.
"Circuit courts and district courts have upheld the statute as valid," he noted. "The judge is in the vast minority in making this judgment.
"Societally, it is in our collective interest to keep a watchful eye on the whereabouts of sexual predators," Brown said.
At least 18 district judges have upheld SORNA, while only two others have found it is at cross-purposes with the commerce clause. Of the 12 federal appellate circuits, only two – the 8th and 10th – have addressed the issue, and both upheld the statute.
The defendants in the Sacramento cases are _____, 50, and _____, 41.
_____ pleaded guilty in 2002 in Solano Superior Court to 11 counts of sexual abuse of a child, a child pornography count and one count of furnishing marijuana to a child. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
He was paroled Jan. 6, 2008, but instead of reporting to his Vallejo parole officer to register as a sex offender, he fled to his grandmother's house in Liberty, Mo., where parole agents found him.
He was returned to a California prison but soon was arrested by deputy U.S. marshals and brought to Sacramento to face a federal grand jury indictment charging him with a SORNA violation. It carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
_____ was convicted in Reno in 1989 of lewdness with a child and sentenced to a five-year prison term. The sentence was suspended, and he was placed on probation. He registered as a sex offender in Nevada, but had a spotty record of keeping it up-to-date, which led to a stretch in the Elko County jail.
He later showed up in Burley, Idaho, and registered there in December 2007. He dropped off the grid in May.
_____ was traced through Social Security Administration records to Brownsville, a dent in the road in Yuba County. He had not registered in California and was arrested and charged in December under SORNA.
Karlton dismissed the _____ case Monday and the _____ case Thursday. He cited a 1995 Supreme Court opinion – United States v. Lopez – that breaks into three categories the scope of congressional power to regulate commerce. SORNA does not fit any of the three, the judge ruled.
Like the statute struck down in the high court's 1995 ruling, SORNA does not "address an economic activity that could affect the supply or demand of or ability to regulate a good in the national market," Karlton wrote.
Under SORNA, he wrote, a person may be prosecuted for failing to register in his home state and then establishing residence and registering in another state. Harm would be confined to one state.
"Were this a sufficient jurisdictional element, there would be no limit to Congress' ability to penalize any crime whatsoever, so long as the defendant at some point in the course of his life traveled across state lines," the judge wrote. "This appears to be a plain usurpation of the state's police power."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Melikian wrote in a brief opposing dismissal of the _____ case that SORNA was meant to remedy the shortcomings of a "rather loosely integrated network of state sex offender registration systems (that) failed to adequately account for the public safety risk created by non-compliant sex offenders who move from state to state."
Melikian wrote that it was estimated in 2006 that the whereabouts of 100,000 of the more than 500,000 convicted sex offenders who had registered with the states were unknown.
- I do not believe this statistic, I believe it's some round number that sounds good, which they pulled from thin air. Show me the facts to back this up!
Travel from one state to another "is inherently national and affects commerce," the prosecutor argued.
By MATT MILLER - Of Our Cumberland County Bureau
The lawyer for a 13-year-old Mount Holly Springs boy convicted Friday of raping a 3-year-old girl he was baby-sitting said his client needs treatment, not punishment.
"We have two victims here, and it's so sad," defense attorney Ron Turo said following the verdict in Cumberland County Court.
Judge Kevin A. Hess must decide what sentence to impose on the boy, whom he convicted as a juvenile on felony counts of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child and aggravated indecent assault.
The most severe sentence he could impose would be to rule the boy delinquent, label him a sex offender and commit him to a juvenile detention facility until he turns 21.
The boy was 12 when the assault occurred in August 2007.
The Patriot-News is not naming the parties in the case under its policy of not identifying victims of sex crimes.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Birbeck said he will seek a delinquency determination for the teen so the sex offender tag "stays on his record forever."
Birbeck called Hess' decision to convict the boy "the only decision that was just."
Turo said ruling the teen delinquent would only "create more problems and burdens for him."
He said he'll argue that the boy, who is in custody and receiving sex offender counseling, should instead be ordered to continue receiving treatment and perhaps be placed in foster care.
The boy's parents bear much of the blame for the crime, Turo said.
"This boy is as much a victim as this poor young girl," he said. "I'm going to do everything I can to make sure he gets the help he needs."
The teen's conviction came more than a week after his parents were sentenced to 23 months' probation each by county Judge Edward E. Guido, who convicted them on corruption of minors and child endangerment charges.
Investigators said the 38-year-old father and 43-year-old mother allowed the boy access to inappropriate sexual material and had taken erotic photographs of the mother while the boy was in the same room.
During a hearing before Hess on Monday, police Officer Troy Wiser said the teen admitted to raping the tot. Wiser said the boy told him he is obsessed with sex and had learned about it by watching his parents' pornographic videos.
The girl's mother testified that she asked the boy, a former neighbor, to watch her daughter and young son while she made a quick trip to the grocery store. She said she knew the boy and didn't feel concerned about leaving him alone with her children.